Tuesday, June 18, 2013

My first week in Sofia

First and very important, I got my package!!! The cheezits made me so happy! I didn't want to share them, but then I thought of what Jesus would do, so I shared my cheezits. They've got the best, most powerful cheezy flavor! Bulgaria just doesn't have crackers like that. I also trimmed my hair, and the cds are great. Thank you! Blagodaria!

Sofia is big and beautiful. I forgot how much I love big cities. The streets are like complicated mazes, the buildings are tall and elegant, and it feels like Europe. I really love it. Plus, the members are amazing. There are a lot of YSA and they're all really strong and excited about missionary work. The Branch had about 90 people at Church on Sunday which is pretty good. I want to help Sofia become a ward. Wouldn't that be amazing!

One other exciting thing is that there is a member from Taiwan! I spoke in Chinese with her and her daughters. It was so hard, like trudging through mud. I can think Chinese in my head okay, but speaking it is difficult. It was fun trying, though. My Bulgarian is WAY better and more natural than Chinese now.

There are also lots of men from Ivory Coast who the Elders are teaching and baptizing which is so cool and exciting. They speak French, but one of them knows English, so he translates. They are so nice and I am so excited that they found the Church in Bulgaria!

Ben mentioned trouble in Turkey and if its affected Bulgaria. I don't really know what's going in the world right now....I know that there are troubles in Turkey, so President's been going there a lot. There have also been lots of protests in Bulgaria but they seem pretty peaceful. I've just seen people blocking the streets, holding Bulgarian flags, and blowing whistles. We avoid them to be safe.

One of the really cool thing about working in Sofia is that I get to work with some of the best missionaries in the mission! The assistants to the president, zone leaders, and district leader are all in our district. I love working with good Elders! They're so amazing and I am so grateful for the way they serve.

One of our goals for the mission right now is to minimize contacting time and focus more on member referral lessons. President Hinckley said there is a better way, and that is through the members. Contacting's been pretty unsuccessfull lately and I think it might be because Heavenly Father is encoruaging us to find people in different ways. I'm really excited about member referral lessons because it strengthens the members as well as being a finding tool. Its really exciting.

Really exciting things are happing in Bulgaria to bring light and hope to all the people. I hear miracle stories every day that just astound me. I know that God really is hastening His work and we've just got to put in our plows and get to work! All of us! I heard the Church is having a worldwide training by the First Presidency on Missionary Work and I am so excited for it! Training for all members on missionary work, by the prophet himself. How incredible is that! The light of the Gospel cannot be stopped and it is lighting the world. I am so happy and excited.

All the best,
Sister Stenquist

p.s. I forgot to tell you I have Bronchitis again. I got a cold a couple weeks ago, went to the doctor on Saturday and found out its Bronchitis. I don't really feel sick at all except that I cough and my lungs hurt a bit. The doctor said I can work like normal as long as I take my antibiotics, which I am faithfully taking (along with my daily vitamins!) In the future I just have to be more careful about staying warm when I work so that I won't get sick anymore. All is well!

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